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Contrary to popular tourist belief, the best day in New York City does not necessarily consist of a walk through Central Park or fine-dining at a high-end restaurant. Rather, a blissful activity for many New Yorkers is to take a long and leisurely stroll through their borough —browse inlocal boutiques, eat at a hidden gem and admire the neighborhood architecture. Brooklyn Heights – the home of NU Hotel, great eateries and views – exudes a sense of community and charm that attracts locals and tourists alike.

For an afternoon activity, we recommend grabbing a coffee at the trendy Blue Bottle Coffee and hitting Atlantic Avenue and its neighborhood streets for antique merchandise and clothing boutiques. For independent fashion finds, start at Meg and work your way down towards the water, with stops at GRDN Brooklyn for urban gardening necessities and Holler & Squall to browse mid-century furniture.

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Undoubtedly, Brooklyn Heights boasts one of the best skyline views of the Big Apple. Make your way to the Brooklyn Bridge Promenade, a stretch of trees, flowers and benches a thirdof a mile long with a vista overlooking the East River, the Statue of Liberty and all of lower Manhattan. Unlike most tourist destinations in the city, the promenade is a quiet escape for lovers and families alike.

Prior to sunset, explore the surrounding historic brownstone homes as you walk through sleepy Willowtown. For arguably one of the most charming routes, take your time to admire Joralemon Street and its surrounding blocks.

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Reserve a table for dinner or stop into Iris Cafe tucked away at 20 Columbia Place, a local favorite for its specialty coffee, Nouveau American inspired menu and rustic interior. The space offers the style of high-dining with the comfort of a bistro and serves breakfast, lunch, dinner and cocktails every night of the week. We recommend trying their famous hen of the woods mushroom with homemade ricotta, octopus with clams, and the gianduja chocolate cake for dessert. Top it off with a cocktail from their recently expanded bar menu. If you’re in a hurry, you can stop into their takeaway store at 16 Columbia Place for their daily selection of freshly baked pastries.

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For a night cap, make your way down Atlantic Avenue to Henry Public, located at 329 Henry StreetWind down at the saloon-inspired, old-time bar with a sophisticated cocktail. Try the Brooklyn Ferry (rye whiskey, antica vermouth, maraschino liqueur, absinthe) or the Wide Awake Cocktail (gin, lemon, ginger, islay scotch). Make sure you come prepared, as they’re cash only. The antique vibe and delicious cocktails will makethe perfect end to a fantastic day in Brooklyn Heights.